Rav Elyakim Levanon
Rav Elyakim Levanon File photo

The Rabbi of Samaria (Shomron), Rav Elyakim Levanon, drew criticism from some quarters and support from others Sunday when he spoke against the planned eviction of the residents of Migron.

"There is justice and there is a Judge," said Rav Levanon. "Whoever lifts his hand upon Migron, his hand will be chopped off," he said, "and the prime minister should know this too." The Judge in this expression refers to G-d.

Rav Levanon's wording is an exact copy of the words used several years ago by former Supreme Court Judge Mishael Heshin against then-Minister of Justice Daniel Friedman. The only difference is that Heshin's warning was directed against "whoever lifts his hand upon the Supreme Court."

The expression is not meant to be understood literally, but alludes to retribution.

Rav Levanon spoke at a ceremony held by the Kommemiyut rabbis' movement at the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem, marking seven years since the "Disengagement."

"We will go out to conquer the state of Israel from the great crisis of Gush Katif," the rabbi said. "Today, in great force, we will go everywhere. Yeshiva boys will go to the army because otherwise there will be no army. Who will go to the army? Those who raise two children and a dog?"

He was referring to secular Jews, whose average birth rate is lower than that of religious ones. He illustrated the point with specific examples. "Recently, two elderly people died: Ben-Tzion Netanyahu and Rav Elyashiv. One left 1,400 descendants and the other 10. That is the difference between us."

Rav Levanon clarified later that he did not call for physical harm to be done to the prime minister, but was referring to a divine punishment, similar to the dismal fate that has met most of the top officials who carried out the Disengagement.

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